farts are funny.

Tuesday may have started off a little tense.

As the end of the month nears, moods can be in all sorts of places, as people try to survive with no money and wait desperately for the next cheque to come in. This makes for the busi-est of drop-in times and sometimes the most tense. Of course, money is not the only source of stress. People are just people, and there are many stresses that our friends live with on the daily (and walk resiliently past).

On Tuesday, usually the quietest day of the week where we gather at the Thrift Store and have coffee, play scrabble, and eat chips, the mood was slightly tense, I must admit. People who usually get along where snapping at each other, while other frustrations and past griefs came to the surface. This is all normal. I mean, when we walk in community together, it won’t look perfect. Friendships may be dented and scratched. However, this also means that usually we come back together with love and grace, which is a beautiful thing to witness.

So although moods were tense on Tuesday to start, we pushed through. Scrabble was brought out and letters were distributed. Guitars were tuned and music played delicately in the background (sometimes over harsh words). Snacks were consumed. And in the midst of a really tense time – a fart app was brought out on someones phone. Someone who is getting better at self regulating their mood and saying respectfully what they need instead of yelling at someone, brought out the farts and the whole table was instantly in giggles. It was the best. There were a plethora of farts to be heard and we were mesmerized for at least 10 minutes, listening to them all, faces red with joy instead of anger, and laughing uncontrollably.

At the end of the day, people made up. They were able to talk about their frustrations and express themselves. They fist-bumped and made peace. We left with smiles and hugs. Things may have started rocky, but at the end of the day, it is fun and amazing and beautiful to watch people be in community together and love each other deeply.

And no matter what anyone tells you, farts will always be funny.

 

 

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jumbled up.

jum·ble
ˈjəmbəl/
verb
past tense: jumbled
  1. mix up in a confused or untidy way.

Hello friends,

It has been some time since I have been here in this space with you. Thanks for waiting patiently for me to be able to be here again. I think the only way to sum up the rest of the summer is to use this word: jumble.

The beginning of August came and went with a flurry of tears, memories, and prayers as we said goodbye to two of our friends at the dale who passed away near the end of July. Nicole and John are and were deeply loved and missed. Having two funerals in one week was…something. We had very sad hearts as two friends with their own stories, lives and souls were remembered and grieved two days apart. We continue to miss them very much.

That same week, we met a very shaken friend in the hospital who then left to be with her doggy at home (as you might remember from my last post). Thank you for your prayers, as she is doing better than before, and better than we expected. She continues to find great comfort in her dog, and we are grateful for the love of her little companion.

Erinn then left on holiday, followed by Jo shortly after. I am so thankful for all that they bring to this team and how they lead fearlessly and love largely. For them to be able to have time away to rest was so good, and I am glad for them.

Being solo in Parkdale left my heart jumbled up a little though, I must admit. I think between being out of routine, having my teammates missing, and living as well as working in Parkdale left me feeling funny. I dreamt of moving far away and working on a farm to care for cows, which seemed easier at the time than caring for people. Although I don’t know much about cows… I don’t know how that would have turned out!

There were some lovely moments that happened while Erinn and Jo were away, and I am thankful for my new community that comforted me, stayed longer than usual to help me at drop-in, and played long Scrabble games with me. I think it was hard to see the good when I felt like my heart was tipping over with hopelessness at the way Parkdale can feel sometimes, especially during the long summer days, like we are all stuck in an alternate universe.

It made me miss my friends at Sanctuary, who I had deeper relationships with. It made me miss familiarity, and space working away from home. It made me miss stability and comfort. I was reminded by Ian as I sat in tears on the couch that there was a reason I was called to be in Parkdale. The anxiety that fills my mind sometimes may be telling me to run far away. But there was a call in my heart, a spark, that knew I needed to be here doing this work.

I am so happy to have my girls back with me, and happy that we can be honest with each other when we feel not quite right. I am glad for rest, and also for work. I am filled with hope when we laugh, overcome a challenge, see growth in someone, and see healing right before our eyes. The days continue to be weird around here, sometimes bright and sunny, and sometimes filled with deep despair. Ian and I lost another friend from the Gateway. Our buddy Tom has passed away, and I miss his raspy-ness, his generosity, and the way he could be brutally honest and make me laugh in the same sentence.  He had his own struggles, as we all do, and I pray that he is filled with peace. He is missed dearly and loved deeply.

I, for one, am glad that the summer is finally over. It wasn’t the best, although it had it’s good moments. I am still happily engaged and trucking on with planning a wedding. I am still here in Parkdale even though I wanted to run and never come back. However, it still feels like death is waiting to greet us at every corner as we say goodbye again and again to our friends. Pray for us as we walk through Autumn, that we may have fresh crisp air that fills our lungs, and a new start. Thank you for your encouragement through this season. I feel like I am jumping from unsteady stone to unsteady stone. Thanks for being the hands alongside me to catch me when I feel that I may fall.

Peace to you as the seasons change! May you be filled with that magic that only the Fall brings!